Transparency deserves a better spokesperson
Julian Assange can never stay out of the headlines for long, and if last night’s strong ratings on Channel Ten are any indication, people can’t get enough of him.
The Wikileaks founder is reportedly planning to sue Prime Minister Julia Gillard for defamation over her assertion that Wikileaks has engaged in illegal activity.
On one level, you have to agree with Assange. The Prime Minister has been unable to point to a single law that Wikileaks has broken.
But even if you are sympathetic to Assange’s cause, it is difficult to support him. The man has a serious ego problem. This is just the latest in a long line of publicity stunts, and the act is starting to wear a bit thin.
For a man who apparently believes so stridently in transparency, Assange is remarkably eager to hide information from the public when it suits him.
When UK-based newspaper The Guardian published details of his Swedish sexual assault case, using information from a leaked police report, Assange was so outraged that he threatened to sue.
As if that hypocrisy were not enough, he is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The government of Ecuador is notorious for silencing dissent in the media. It’s certainly a strange place for such a champion of transparency to take refuge.
In truth, the only higher cause that Julian Assange seems to care about is himself. His constant need for personal publicity is only further evidence of that.
That’s why the Wikileaks founder is such a divisive figure. Even people who are open to supporting Assange’s organisation cannot bring themselves to like the man.
His cause suffers as a result. Transparency is a worthy goal, but it is in dire need of a better spokesperson.
Preferably, that spokesperson would be someone who cares more about the organisation and the cause than they do about themselves.
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